Ryan and Emily have a beautiful story of welcoming their daughter by adoption. When they started with Christian Adoption Consultants, they didn't know what was in store for them. I love how Emily has recounts their adoption, which has really become a love story...
I have been saying “I need to write this down before I forget,” for the last few days. So, here I sit, with a beautiful newborn baby girl snoozing on my lap, and tears of joy running down my cheeks. Daily, I look at her and think, “she’s really here!”
On Tuesday morning, August 11th we heard about a a baby girl due on Aug 20. I called the agency right away to let them know we were interested.
After saying, “yes” to situations through our fantastic adoption consultant, Susan, for over 9 months, we finally got our yes. During that wait, I prayed for more expectant moms and babes that I kept track of. During that wait, although hard at times, I trusted that God’s timing would be better than ours. Ainsley (our oldest daughter) and I would pray nightly, for the little one we’d someday adopt. And, actually, God had been working on my heart, for many years. For as long as I can remember, I’ve desired to be a wife and mom. I remember my first interview as a preschool teacher...they asked about my dream job, and even back then, it involved being a mother to those that needed one. After we had our 4th biological child, this desire became stronger. And shortly after the loss of our daughter, Tessa, God spoke to my heart and assured me that He had her...and there was someone else that would need me as a mommy on this earth. God gave me strength for each of those hard days, and hope for tomorrow. So, daily, we hoped for the little one that God would give us.
Ryan and Emily had just over a week to prep for their sweet baby girl. And when the call finally came that their expectant mother was in labor, it was a race to get there! Frantic packing, rental cars, booked flights, and a sleepless night all to get to her as soon as possible. On their plane waiting for take off, Emily received the first glimpse of their daughter from a texted picture of a beautiful, screaming, brown-haired baby girl. While Ryan finally had a chance to grab a quick nap on the flight, Emily spent the time studying those pictures, zooming in on all the intricate details of the beautiful girl God had created to be a part of their family. As soon as they landed, a caseworker for the agency was there to help escort them directly to the hospital…
At the hospital, she led us into the nursery and I remember looking around at the bassinets. The nurses showed us where our baby girl was and we studied her sweet features and snuggled her. I told her about her two mommies that love her. Over the next few days, I loved her and at the same time, guarded my heart a little as I knew she wasn’t ours yet.
And then her birth mom, "J," wanted to see her again (she had spent a little time with her before we got there). She didn’t want to meet us yet at this point, so we left to allow her that time and space. During this time, I began to get nervous, wondering if J would ask a family member who was also at the hospital to raise this beautiful baby girl we’d spent the day loving. At the hotel, I broke down into tears. I once again had to give this precious little girl and the whole situation back over to God. I came to the realization that I wanted the best for this baby. Deep down, yes, I wanted to be her mommy. But with God’s strength, I wanted what was best for her and for us. It reminded me of the Bible Story where the two women both say they are the mother of the baby. To find out who the mother is, they say they are going to cut the baby in half and the mother of the baby says, “You take her. I don’t want anything to happen to her.” And that’s how they knew she was the mother. I felt that love for Mischa…that I loved her so much that I wanted the best for her, even if it wasn’t with us. And yet, I was begging God that I’d get to be her mommy. All the while, thinking of J and her love for the baby too and how hard this must be for her. In the end, it was the same selfless love of the mother in that Bible Story that flowed from J as she handed Mischa over to us, giving us the privilege and honor of being her parents.
The next morning was the day the adoption papers were signed and Ryan and Emily had a chance to finally meet their birth mother.
I was so thankful for this opportunity to meet her. We walked into the room, I asked her if I could give her a hug, and we hugged and cried for a long time. I remember the feeling of her not letting go of the hug. She handed the baby to me and said, “she’s yours now.” We were able to ask her a few questions and she told us “Just love her. Give her what I can’t.” How hard and brave to admit. J wanted us in there for the signing of the papers. As I held Mischa, I was hoping she wouldn’t cry through the whole signing. She even smiled once though. I was thinking, “Sweet baby…this is going to be one of the hardest things in your life, and also one of the greatest.” It’s a loss at the beginning of life for her, and at the same time, although J’s love for her was evident, she also knew she couldn’t raise her. I have only good things to say about J and her love for Mischa.
In that moment Mischa was ours to love, cherish, and adore, for years to come. But at the heart of it all, she is God’s. And I knew there was another mom grieving, and that was hard. So, whenever I think of her, I pray. Really, there are many mother figures in Mischa’s life...from J and I, to grandmas and aunties, to good friends, she is loved by many. I get the privilege of having her call me mom and I pray that she will feel loved by all these women.
There were so many ways we saw God at work and when I think of Mischa’s story, I think of how it’s really God’s story. Like a song that’s on the radio, “to tell of her story, is to tell of Him.” I am so grateful that we get to be a part of it. We gave J a necklace with two interlocking circle charms and it said "Forever linked. Forever loved." Our lives are forever linked with J’s, and Mischa is forever loved by all of us.
Special thanks to Kyla Briney Photography for these beautiful pictures.